And I was being un-friended and excoriated by so-called friends on Facebook because I was skeptical of Ted Williams, the man known as The Man with the Golden Voice. One year later my skepticism proved spot-on and my friends probably don’t even remember the hurt they caused me. They ripped me for not jumping on their love fest of this man.
If you don’t remember, or if you were out of the country for the month of January 2011 Williams became famous overnight based on the posting of this video: Homeless Man gets National Buzz
Following the fame of this video, the man was quickly picked up off the street and cleaned up. His hair was cut. Someone got him new clothes and he made an appearance on the Today Show. Numerous other TV appearances followed. His handlers took him to meet with his mother who he’d not seen or spoken with in about 20 years. In each TV appearance Williams told those interviewing him that he had given up drugs and alcohol abuse and as you saw on the video that he’d been clean for two years. Job offers started pouring in, including an offer to serve as the P-A announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA basketball team.
I didn’t believe him; and while I didn’t publish those thoughts specifically I did say I “expected another shoe to drop”. I found it hard to believe that this man was STILL living on the streets, pan-handling two years after being sober. Clearly the man has a talent and a skill that through a sober mind could be monetized in the form of a job.
I was also disgusted by the job opportunities that came his way. Why should this homeless criminal alcoholic drug addict get a shot at some very lucrative voice-talent opportunities when so many people IN MY INDUSTRY were unemployed AND sober. That was my thinking.
Turns out Williams wasn’t and hadn’t been clean and sober. He continued to drink heavily. While continuing to fool people he did manage a few jobs including this Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercial: Kraft Mac & Cheese commercial
Williams apparently was checked into a rehab clinic which he left before completing. The most recent news on him that I have been able to discern dates from last August 2011 in which he was filing a lawsuit against three people that he claims took advantage of his addictions to cut themselves a sweet deal. Williams explains in court papers that when he inked the deal he was dealing with “significant drug and alcohol abuse” issues and was “totally incapable of understanding what was happening to him or handling his own affairs.” He is asking a judge to void the contract.
What he’s doing now is not public and I’ve not been able to find out.
My point is now, and was one year ago, that stories of redemption are great and they are inspiring. But lets first make sure that the redemption has actually taken place and is praiseworthy before heaping riches and lots of responsibilities onto those who are undeserving and unprepared. Mr. Williams was clearly undeserving compared to so many other radio and broadcast veterans who are struggling and don’t abuse alcohol or drugs; and apparently Williams was unprepared.
Secondly, stories of redemption should never trump those who never needed redemption to begin with. And so many of us need and are given second chances in one or more aspects of our lives, I wonder how many realize that good, honest, hard-working, people really do exist. And while not perfect, nobody is; these people who trudge along in life and avoid the mistakes and temptations that Ted Williams did not seldom get the praise they deserve. They seldom get half of what Williams received, before he again apparently pissed it away.
Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.
- From Ted Williams To Sophia Grace: The 11 BEST Viral Videos of 2011 (fresh1027.radio.com)
- Study Shows Ted Williams Had Less Than a One Percent Chance of Staying Clean and Sober (prweb.com)